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Europe Top News and Analysis United Kingdom

  • *Turkey- Syria tensions, lower N. Sea output support. Brent and U.S. crude remained on track to post weekly gains of around 2 percent, as the turmoil in the Middle East, especially in Syria, continues to intensify.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Britain's' Big Six' energy suppliers, which control 99 percent of the market, are expected to increase energy tariffs this winter following a rise in underlying wholesale prices, network costs and mandatory government schemes to reduce carbon emissions and help disadvantaged households.

  • The FTSE Small Caps index closes 0.3 percent higher, outperforming falls of 0.6 percent on the FTSE 100 and 0.5 percent on the FTSE 250. Morgan Sindall gains 1.3 percent as the UK construction and regeneration group says it has been appointed preferred delivery partner for a 1.1 billion pounds contract at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

  • *STMicroelectronics rallies on break-up talk. LONDON, Oct 12- European blue chip shares ended the week in negative territory with weakness in commodity stocks outpacing gains in healthcare and consumer staples.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Frantic drilling activity across the United States has at last begun to moderate, as the industry responds to the plunge in prices for natural gas and now liquids such as butane and natural gasoline.

  • --We are assigning our' BBB-' issue rating to Prologis European Properties Fund II FCP' s proposed $300 million senior unsecured notes to be issued through its financing vehicle Prologis International Funding II S.A..

  • LONDON-- A U.K. watchdog has launched its biggest-ever investigation into police actions, opening a new inquiry Friday into the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster that left 96 fans dead and whole communities angry over a decades-long police cover-up.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 12- China has expressed concerns about a potential EU investigation of telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE Corp over illegal subsidies, a European Commission official said on Friday.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Peripheral banks unwilling or unable to lengthen their maturity profiles are building up a redemption hump which they will have to face just as billions of euros of cheap ECB money is coming up for repayment.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded The Co-operative Bank plc's (Coop,' BBB+'/ Rating Watch Negative/' F2') GBP600m mortgage covered bonds to' AA+'/ RWN from' AAA'/RWN.

  • Oct 12- Fitch Ratings has downgraded Yorkshire Building Society's GBP1.8bn mortgage covered bonds to' AA+', Stable Outlook from' AAA'/Rating Watch Negative.

  • Benchmark oil fell 21 cents Friday to $91.86 per barrel in New York. On Friday, the International Energy Agency issued a new report predicting slower growth in demand for oil over the next five years. Friday's decline in the price of oil eroded some of the gains from earlier this week, when tensions between Syria and Turkey raised worries about supplies.

  • *British Gas prices to rise 6 pct from Nov. 16. LONDON, Oct 12- Two of Britain's biggest energy suppliers are raising their prices just as millions of cash-strapped consumers switch on their central heating for the winter, saying higher costs made the move unavoidable.

  • By Luke Baker and John O'Donnell. It was prepared by Herman Van Rompuy, who as president of the European Council will chair a European Union summit next week.

  • *Wells Fargo weighs on financials. The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan's preliminary October reading on consumer sentiment rose to 83.1, well above the 78 forecast for the index as optimism about the economy improved. Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. home lender, dropped 2.5 percent to $34.40.

  • *Telefonica to provide 110 mln euros in vendor financing. *Telefonica shares flat vs lower Spanish index. MADRID, Oct 12- Spain's Telefonica is selling its Atento call centre business to U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital for about 1 billion euro, including debt, as it battles to reduce its borrowings.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Britain's main financial regulator will decide what activities the country's retail banks are able to carry out under a new reform aimed at shielding taxpayers from having to bail out the industry again.

  • Rating Action On Sept. 21, 2012, Standard& Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its' Api' counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. of MI. Based in Lansing, Mich., FBL of MI is an indirect subsidiary of Michigan Farm Bureau Group. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. of MI.

  • --We are placing our' BBB' long-term and' A-2' short-term ratings on Telefonica and three of its subsidiaries, and our issue ratings on Telefonica and six of its subsidiaries on CreditWatch negative.

  • LONDON, Oct 12- Peripheral banks unwilling or unable to lengthen their maturity profiles are building up a redemption hump which they will have to face just as billions of euros of cheap ECB money is coming up for repayment.